Taiwan 2016 Pt IV: Longshan Temple & Ximending

The capital of Taiwan is a very nice place and one that we really like but it’s certainly not the most beautiful of cities appearance-wise. Whilst there are some great sightseeing spots in and around the city we didn’t really do them this time and I have fairly vague memories of my trip ten years ago (other than what I wrote on here!) when I spent the majority of my time outside of the city.

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This trip was mostly about just sampling a load of local food and visiting Jiufen so it’s fairly slim pickings here regarding the sights of Taipei. Ximending has been compared to Harajuku in Tokyo and it was this young peoples district where we ended up on our first morning. Unfortunately we arrived a bit too early as few places were even open and indeed didn’t open till 11am! Anyway, we walked around and killed time stopping to drink some bubble tea, eat kakigori and do a bit of shopping before Modern Toilet Restaurant opened.

The 2-storey octagonal architecture seen below is an ancient landmark of the area and is over a century old having been built by Japanese during their rule of Taiwan at the time. The Red House Theater is comprised of red tiles and bricks and has evolved over the decades from market place to performing arts centre to a movie cinema. Today it is a modern shopping ground featuring a small cafe, some history about the structure and some creative art stalls whilst the second floor regularly hosts live performances.

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Longshan Temple (below) was a quick stop by metro from Ximending and so, not wanting to continue shopping, I left my wife alone to go and see the most famous temple in Taipei which is rich in history. It was scorching weather at this time of the day and I was sweating as I entered what was a smoky temple due to all the burning incense.

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The temple was built in Taipei in 1738 serving as a place of worship and a gathering place for Chinese settlers. The architecture is particularly detailed and intricate now but it’s actually been destroyed a few times due to numerous earthquakes and fires. It’s free to enter and this is one busy place that’s full of both worshippers and tourists.

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As I was taking a final few photos by the man-made waterfalls in the courtyard, a girl from a group of five Asians approached me asking to take my photo! This happened at a temple in Chiang Mai back in 2014 and my wife thinks it’s hilarious that it only seems to happen when I’m wearing that hat! Kind of funny but I don’t get it!!

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On our final night I left my wife in the supermarket and headed back to NingXia Night Market to get some stinky tofu. As I wandering through the place I bumped into my colleague Adam (below) and some of his friends so we chatted for a while and shared our thoughts on what we’d seen and done.

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Other than our trip out of the city to visit Jiufen we didn’t really explore too much of Taipei and stuck within fairly close proximity of our hotel. We had intended to venture over to the area near Taipei 101 building but that never quite materialised. We were content though with what we did on this short city break and really did realise how close Taiwan is to Japan (3 hours by plane) and vowed to return. Hopefully, it won’t take  another decade to return!!

You can read other ‘Taiwan 2016′ posts by clicking on these links:

Pt I: Dining Out In Taipei     Pt II: Modern Toilet Restaurant     Pt III: Jiufen

Click here to read ‘Taiwan 2006 – My Stay In Taipei’ 

Taipei Aug '06 082 Taipei Aug '06 059 Ximending Yangmingshan National Park Grand Hotel Oxford College

About tokyofox

A Leicester City fan teaching English in Japan
This entry was posted in Asia Travel and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Taiwan 2016 Pt IV: Longshan Temple & Ximending

  1. Pingback: Taiwan 2016 Pt III: Jiufen | Tokyo Fox (東京狐)

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